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Brig KVK Unny (born 17 July 1944) left us on 26 May 2020. He had been afflicted with a dreaded cancer for over seven years, but he battled with the disease with his characteristic fortitude, and those who met him during the Platinum Jubilee celebration of the Corps of EME in Dec 2018 did not find any trace of pain or suffering in his demeanour or conduct. He met all his comrades with his inimitable warmth and zest. But later, his condition deteriorated and he took the ‘long road to nowhere’ last week. I have received a large number of messages from his friends and colleagues, and consider it my duty to post them on the website. You are requested to invited to insert your memories of association with this noteworthy soldier in the comments, at the end of the post.


Brig K Harikumar’s message

It is with profound sorrow that I report the sad demise of Brig KVK Unny, EME on 26 May at Bangalore after a prolonged illness. Unny was my course mate from 21Tech Course. From the time I first met him in 1964 at the SSB Bangalore till his demise, we were very close friends and worked at different branches at the Army HQ. Later on, our families maintained a personal bond throughout.

Krishnan Unny hails from Elapully, Palakkad district, Kerala. He passed in first class in Electrical Engineering from the prestigious College of Engineering, Trivandrum .After a short tenure with 601 EME Battalion, he was nominated for the Advanced Electronics Course at MCEME ,Secunderabad. His brilliant all round academic performance earned him a berth at the IIT Kharagpur later for an M Tech in Industrial Engineering and Operational Research. Very soon, he was sent on deputation to Mazagon Docks in the public sector where he worked in the planning cell dealing with off shore drilling operations.

Brig Unny had a stellar role with the team which raised the Simulator Development division in MCEME and also as a faculty member at FIET [Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Tactics] at the MCEME where his contributions in the Corps Reunion Cell are still remembered by many in the Corps. He later commanded 610 EME Battalion, and worked as Col PPO at the MGO’s Branch, Army HQ and as Works Manager of 510 Army Base Workshop, Meerut. From there, he was posted to the SDD in Secunderabad, and after completing his tenure there, he was promoted and posted back to Meerut, as the Commandant in the rank of Brigadier.

Post retirement, Brig Unny worked as Director for UKN Construction Group, a premier Realtor at Bangalore.

Throughout his Army Career, Unny was recognised as an intellectual, an avid reader and a team player. He was an authority in Project Management and mathematical modelling. I have received some messages, which I append below:

Brig Unny was lovable person and an adorable friend —— Brig K N Sharma,EME

We miss a great friend who was always jovial and help to all ——Brig P K Patnaik,EME ,Course mate

Ever smiling, and always kind and helpful, simple ,graceful and positive .We would be missing such an affable personality ——Col Narne Rangarao,EME, Coursemate mate

Unny was the first cadet from our batch to become a Corporal at IMA , he was the youngest in age in our course. A very good company be it for cards or booze.—— Col P S Natarajan ,EME ,Course mate

Unny uncle was open minded- he genuinely enjoyed understanding the philosophies of various faiths, His most distinctive traits were his down to earth nature, his humility and cheerful spirit behind that intimidating mustachio He fought with courage and dignity ,faced his earthly battle with tremendous fortitude till the very end. His wife Janaki was an absolute pillar and his faithful companion who stood by him along with his children Siddarth and Subhadra ——Kavita Shankar, Niece.


Brig Surinder Singh (24 Tech) says:

I served in two Army Base Workshops during my 33 year long career in EME. One was 509 Army Base Workshop, Agra and the other was 510 Army Base Workshop Meerut.

While my tenure in 509 was like a bed of roses, the one at 510 was not exactly so even though nearly 6 years of my childhood were spent in the city of Meerut, a city which my parents were extremely fond of. With 5 Regimental Centers, Meerut was one of the largest and finest Cantonments of India. The British made sure of that.

However the same could not be said of 510 Army Base Workshop. It was an old workshop with technology and workmen to match. A massive attempt to modernize it was made when the Schilka overhaul project was commenced and Brig(later) Maj Gen Bobby Dutta was brought in as the Commandant. He wanted to change the culture of the workshop, but cultural changes take time and if done in a hurry they lead to a bit of a mess.

Thereafter Brig (later) Maj Gen Sharad Gupta took over as the Commandant carried on making changes at the same breakneck speed, and after that Brig (later) Maj Gen RK Batra stepped in as the Commandant to take the project Kvadrat to completion, with Col (later) Brig KVK Unny as his Deputy Commandant and Works Manager.

At that point of time, I was appointed as Project Controller Kvadrat working directly under the MGO but within the framework of the Base Workshop…an arrangement with built-in clash of interest.

As Works Manager, Col KVK Unny was our interface with the MES, though bulk of construction works were those of the Project Kvadrat. How he could handle that pressure, only he knew.

There were very heavy odds against the smooth functioning…unproductive work force, power cuts. Outdated plant and machinery and add to that spillover of the “Gundagardi” culture of the city of Meerut into the predominantly civilian workers.

It is under these conditions that Col (later Brig) Unny displayed his caliber. He was extremely hard working, cool and unflappable. He rarely approached the Commandant to   solve the problems between him and the Kvadrat Project Controller or between him and the Production Manager, Col IPS Kahai; another very competent officer.

As Officiating Commandant he never threw his weight around (in any case he did not have much. he was slim and athletic) and his disarming smile coupled with logical argument would seal the issue.

He will always be remembered for being an honest, upright officer who was professionally sound and had a cheerful disposition.

May God bless his noble soul and give courage to the family to bear this irreparable loss.


Lt Gen AV Subramanian says:

Col KVK Unny arrived at Simulator Development Division as its Deputy Director in 1991, where I welcomed him as the only other officer posted to SDD. That was the first time I met him. The small glass cubicle appropriated to be his humble office, the only office space on the left wing of Apte Block in FEL, MCEME did not deter him. Many times he would come to the lab where work was in progress because he felt otherwise productive time would be wasted. His understanding of technology was deep, and his vision to grow the SDD was wide. He saw SDD as it would be and not as it was. His sagacity was one of the pillars on which SDD flourished in its early years. As a leading member of the commissioning crew of SDD, he harmoniously built the team, with intimate support of his wife Janaki His experience with Mazgoan Docks had given him a different perspective to approach emerging prospects. Later, when I had an opportunity to be at the helm of 510 Army Base Workshop, which he had commanded earlier, I could feel his presence. His glittering contributions were visible and many spoke gloriously of his institution building capabilities. I was humbled and inspired which I conveyed to him many times in my conversations with him while I was with 510 ABW. We will miss him.


Maj Gen Surjit Singh has this to add:

In any command oriented hierarchy, the most difficult job to perform is the ‘Number two’ appointment. It is like playing ‘the second fiddle’ in an orchestra. I had the great fortune to have Unny with me in the fledgling Simulator Development Division which was raised in 1991. Unny did his piece of the job with such grace and poise that we realized his contribution only after he had gone, on promotion at Meerut as the Commandant of 510 Army Base Workshop. Unny was a man of few words, but when he did say something, it had a lot of depth. His wife, Janaki was a great asset to our little family. For a while, we were neighbours, and I think we could not have found a better family to live on the floor above our flat. God bless his soul, and may he rest in peace, wherever he is.


The Tailpiece

Unni is used as a first name in Kerala, India. In the Malayalam language, it is also used as an adjective meaning an infant boy. Thus, Unnikrishnan or Unnikannan means Lord Krishna in the infant form and Unniyesu means Yesu (Jesus in Malayalam) in the infant form. The word is also the name of a caste among Hindus in the Southern India State of Kerala.


A few pictures sent in by his wife are placed below. Except for the first picture, the remaining four were clicked during the Corps Re-union held in Secinderabad in December 2018.




  1. Col KA Chinnappa says:

    Dear Gen
    I wrote to Mrs Unni the same day and got a nice graphic reply.
    I remember you all very fondly as Pioneers.
    But more on the management lessons I learnt from you and the affection from the Col Unni.
    I still apply your principles when working today as it works wonders in the civvy Street
    I hope you still have your daily constitutional or are you a teetotaler. Can’t remember… maybe it is age.
    I hope you and Mrs Surjit are in the best of health and spirits.
    With lot of affection
    Chinnappa and Kamal

    Remember we are in Bangalore.

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks a lot.
      Yes…them days. Their memories are very precious.
      Yes. We go for the walks. The distance has reduced and the speed is much slower!
      Regards for your very charming wife and love to the ‘children’
      Surjit & Surinnder

  2. Brig Vinay Sagar says:

    Very sad to learn about Brig Unny sir, My first interaction was with him when i joined SDD as part of the raising team. It was a pleasure working under him. His clear and apt guidance was his trait. Gave us the freedom to work in an R&D environment which contributed to the sound foundation of SDD. He along with Gen Surjit were the ideal management and guidance team for us. As an elder brother he was always there for us during and after office hours. Never shied away from taking bold decisions and support us always. Will always remember his association.
    Our condolence to Mrs Unni. RIP
    Brig Vinay Sagar

  3. Brig Anil Adlakha says:

    Anil Sunita
    9:52 PM (9 minutes ago)
    to me

    God Bless his soul.

  4. Brig Sandeep Chaudhary ( Comdt SDD) says:

    On behalf of Lt Gen TSA Narayanan as ex Comdt SDD and all members of team SDD ( past and present), we convey our heartfelt condolences to the family. May GOD give the strength to bear the irrecoverable loss. We will always be there for the family. Profound Regards

  5. Col ABS Sidhu says:

    ABS Sidhu
    2:32 PM (3 hours ago)
    to me

    Dear Surjit ,
    During service I did not have the privilege
    of knowing Brig Unny .
    Seeing his record of service, he seems to
    have had a brilliant career .
    May his soul rest in peace .
    With warm regards .

    ABS Sidhu

  6. Bharat Avalani says:

    Bharat Avalani
    Jun 6, 2020, 7:34 PM (18 hours ago)
    to me

    My heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of an officer and a gentleman.


  7. Brig Srikanth Joshi says:

    Srikanth Joshi
    Jun 6, 2020, 5:41 PM (20 hours ago)
    to me

    Sir, Thank you very much. When he arrived at SDD I was an youngster and for me he was a role model. I always remembered him & his teachings during rough time. His role in trial of B veh driving simulator and handling of trial team was so elegant & professional that the trials were very much successful.
    I pray God Almighty to give strength to his family and may his soul be liberated.

    Yours Sincerely
    Srikanth Joshi.

    Sir BTW I have superannuated after 34 years of Service and now settling down at Bengaluru. I am yet to join HQ K&K Sub Area on reemployment.

    Regards to Mrs Surjit.

  8. Col SS Aulakh says:

    S.S Aulakh
    9:28 AM (4 hours ago)
    to me

    May the departed soul rest in peace.

    SS Aulakh

  9. Brig NK Arora says:

    Dear General,

    I am sorry to learn news about passing away of Brig KVK Unni. My prayers for peace to the departed soul and strength to the family. Although I have never known the officer but since you cared to share the information with me I thought it to be appropriate to convey my condolences.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Brig NK Arora

  10. Lt Gen Kapil Aggarwal says:

    I never had the privilege of serving with Brig Unny, being much junior, but met him briefly in Dec 18 Reunion. Stalwarts like him who have contributed to the growth of our Corps will always be remembered fondly. Heartfelt condolences to Mrs Janaki Unny and may the Almighty give her strength to bear this irreparable loss.

  11. Col Kapil Oberoi says:

    RIP Sir.

    Heartfelt Condolences to the family on the demise of Brig Unny. May the God give the family the strength to overcome the loss.

    Om Shanti.

  12. Shyam Pundkar says:

    A true leader and visionary has departed…his immense contribution towards nurturing SDD will always be remembered. May the departed soul rest in peace. Our heartfelt condolences.

  13. Ashumani says:

    Please accept our our deepest and most sincere condolences. May the soul rest in peace. We at SDD pray to God for giving strength to the family at this time of grief.

  14. Brig Sandeep Chaudhary ( Comdt SDD) says:

    Team SDD conveys their heartfelt condolences. We wish and pray to God to give strength to the family to bear the irrecoverable loss. Contribution of Brig KVK Unny to the organisation especially towards growth of SDD will always be remembered. May the departed soul rest in peace. Team SDD will always be there for the bereaved family. Warmest Regards.

  15. Lt Col Arpan Ghai says:

    My prayers to the Almighty would be that may you
    the departed soul rest in peace.

  16. Adish Wamburkar says:

    Please accept our our deepest and most sincere condolences. May the soul rest in peace. We at SDD pray to God for giving strength to the family at this time of grief.
    Om Shanti

  17. Lt Col Parveen Dalal says:

    My prayers and condolences to the family. A great offr and good soul has departed. His contribution to Simulator Development division will always be remembered. May his soul rest in peace.

  18. Lt Col Gulshan Mehta (SDD) says:

    A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on. Please accept our heartfelt condolences.

  19. Navjot Singh says:

    Saddened to learn about the loss of Brig KVK Unny, the founder father of SDD. Priveledged to have served in an establishment nurtured and fostered by Brig Unny with professional stead and meticulous focus. The prayers of SDD fraternity are with the family of Brig Unny and loss is shared deeply.
    RIP Sir.

  20. Salute to the pioneer of simulator development movement. May the departed soul of Brig Unny rest in peace. Heartfelt condolences to the family. May the almighty give strength to bear the loss.

  21. Lt Col Rakesh Kumar (SDD) says:

    Prayers and fond memories are what we have to remember our dearly departed. Our most heartfelt condolences. A good soul has ascended to heaven. May God give him eternal rest and the family the strength to bear the great pain.

  22. Dave sood says:

    Brig Unn loved by all was an outstanding officer of the Indian Army.
    All the site ups point to one thing; he was loved and admirred by one and all.
    May God grant him Moksha.
    Dave Sood

  23. Col SJ Singh says:

    Unny was a man of few words. But he was able to convey much through his silence.

    It is said that, “still waters run deep!”

    RIP, Unny. You bore your illness with great courage and fortitude.


  24. Lt Gen SBS Kochar says:

    SBS Kochar
    Fri, Jun 5, 8:38 AM (1 day ago)
    to me

    Sir. Thank you for keeping me posted,

  25. Col RM Bedi says:

    He was from 21 tech
    Knew him since 1966
    RIP …KVK Unny
    Col r m bedi

  26. Col KK Sharma says:

    KK Sharma
    11:31 AM (4 hours ago)
    to me


    I pray to the all mighty to bless the departed soul in peace in heaven and give the family moral strength and courage to face the irreparable loss
    KK Sharma

  27. Surendra Rishi says:

    I had the privilege of serving with Unny in PPO. He was a live wire and always ready to solve problems which were aplenty I shall always remember him fondly as a fighter and a team man, ever smiling and caring.
    Rest in peace my friend.

  28. Lt Gen R K Mehta says:

    RIP dear BRIG KVK UNNY; You were a great asset to the Corps and your contributions
    in all your assignments will be fondly remembered.
    May God give strenght to the family and all of us to bear this loss.

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